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Sakura Matsuri Stockholm 2017

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Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top Read more

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london

Top Japanese places to visit in London

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London

Top Japanese places to visit in London

In this post we have collected our top Japanese places to visit in London. The city has so many places that are connected to Japan in one way or another. In our top list we’ve tried to cover a mixture of different types of places that have some connection to Japan or Japanese culture. We know that there are a lot of Japanese restaurants in London, but since we are not based in London we have not really been able to visit many of them to give our opinions about them. While visiting London we always try to find time to visit a few of the locations below. If you are short on time, we recommend visiting Japan Centre, Umai and JP Books which are all in a very close walking distance to each other.

Japan Centre

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan centre

Japan Centre has a big selection of Japanese groceries. What you can find is ready to go fresh meals, snacks, and ingredients so that you can make your own Japanese food at home. They also have sake, stationery, magazines, cooking utensils and more. Our favourite treat that we always take with us from the store are the freshly made mochi balls.
Map | Website

Umai

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London umai

Situated just outside the Japan Centre is Umei. A great place to grab a quick a typical Japanese street food. We normally buy takoyaki, but other options are available on their menu. After that we normally pop by to JP Books.
Map | Website

JP Books

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London books
JP Books is around the corner from the Japan Centre and Umei, on Denman Street. You will find this well-stocked book shop selling lots of Japanese books, stationery, magazines, nick-nacks. It is a great place to pick up the latest CD from your favourite J-pop group, like Perfume.
Map | Website

ArtBox

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London art box
ArtBox is the go-to shop for all things cute and kawaii. In store you can expect to find character goods like Rilakkuma, Pusheen, Gudetama, Hello Kitty and more, stationery, plushies, homeware, and accessories. If you’re after something cute and Japanese, we recommend popping into Artbox to browse. The shop’s exterior has changed since we last visited due to a new location.
Map | Website

Chinatown Bakery

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London chinatown bakery
Even though it’s ChinaTown, you can still find some Japanese gems there, like the cute fish-shaped cake TaiYaki. We have such great memories of eating them in Japan, so we were really happy to find them in London. They’re a lot smaller than the Japanese standard size, but that just means you can have more than one.
Map | Website

Muji

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London muji

Muji is a well-known brand in Japan. Thanks to their success they have a lot of international stores. Their style is minimalistic and practical, usually white, grey or wood. Typical items you can find in the store are storage solutions, little notebooks, plastic folders, travel items, cutlery, home fragrance and lots more. Last time we were in store we bought a lovely wooden fruit bowl.
Map | Website

Uniqlo

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London uniqlo

Another store with international success is Uniqlo. They have a wide range of basic clothes of all colours for your wardrobe. The clothes are minimalistic and aesthetic pleasing on the eyes. They reason we started shopping at Uniqlo was their heattech range, which are thin clothes with a special Japanese technology to keep you warm.
Map | Website

Las Vegas Arcade Soho

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London las vegas
Not many places outside of Japan house so many fun and exciting Japanese arcade machines. Luckily enough Las Vegas Arcade Soho has a great selection of Japanese arcade games. Some of our favourites being Jubeat, GrooveCoaster, Taiko no Tatsujin and many more. Sometimes there can be queues to the games, but they’re well worth the wait.
Map | Website

JapanCraft Camden Lock

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London japan craft
Hidden inside Camden Market you will find the little Japan Craft shop. They stock a nice selection of Japanese puzzle boxes, daruma dolls and a small selection of Japanese sweets. Perfect shop to pop into if you are in the Camden area.
Map | Website

Hyper Japan

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London hyper japan christmas market
HyperJapan is a bi-annually event which hosts concerts, demonstrations, lots of independent shops and stalls, selling all things Japanese and Japanese inspired. Check out our full review from our past visit: Hyper Japan Christmas Market
Website

ComicCon

whysojapan Top Japanese places to visit in London

MCM Comic Con London, which is also held twice a year, has a large area dedicated to Japanese inspired goods and food stalls. We have a full review from a past event here: Japan EX MCM Comic Con London
Website

If you have any tips of places in London that we should visit and share with our readers, please comment below. We are always happy to visit and discover new places.

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Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Shopping, Visiting Leave a comment

Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

Hyper Japan Christmas Market

We managed to get a couple of days off work and booked ourselves on a flight to London, with our main focus being Hyper Japan’s Christmas market at the Tobacco Dock. Of course we did a few other things while in London too. We decided to visit Hyper Japan on their first day, which was the Friday. We bought out tickets in advance and we also purchased the priority entrance tickets, which turned out to be a bit of a waste of money, since we arrived in the afternoon and there was no queue so we didn’t need to use the priority entrance tickets.

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whysojapan_hyper_japan_christmas_market_2015_london_09

Since we had not been to a Hyper Japan event before, we did not know what to expect. We knew which stalls were there beforehand and which shows we wanted to see. After entering the Tobacco Dock, our first impressions were not the best. We were expecting more of a Comic Con setup with lots of stalls in one main hall, but instead we found ourselves walking though like a shopping center where instead of the usual shops there were temporary Japanese stalls set up.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london
whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

There were a lot of stalls we had been looking forward to seeing. Some of them were:

Tokyu Hands, a giant departments store in Japan, we were hoping to find something interesting to buy from them. But we didn’t this time, since they only had a very small selection to sell. It was still great to see a well known brand to have a stall at Hyper Japan.

NHK World was great to see. We saw Domo posting for photos, but when we got there the queue was long, but when we got there it was still seeing him in real life.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london domo

Tofu Cute sold a lot of plushies and other goods, and they had a great sweets selection. We could pick up all different sweets from Japan, like different flavoured KitKats and lots of different flavours of Ramune and lots more.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london tofu cute

Being big fans of Cakes with Faces, it was great seeing their stall at Hyper Japan and looking at all the cute products. We were really interested in the sushi kit, so much that we bought it. What we loved about it was that we were not just getting the tools to make sushi, but also a super cute illustrated manual.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london cakes with faces

There were lots of other shops, some we had visited before, like Japan Center, JP Books, but there were also lots of stalls that we had never seen before, which made it even more fun, because there were sooo many stalls.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london minoriOne of the more unique guests attending the market was Japanese shironuri artist Minori. Famous for her fashion style, featured on TokyoFashion.com several times, and even seen in Vogue, it was quite special to be able to see her in London. I was looking forward to seeing her, so it took me by surprise when we randomly saw her amongst the stalls, posing for photos. For her fans, she held a tea party, where you could enjoy a cup of tea with her, for a cost.

There were food stalls with a selection of Japanese food to choose from, and also a Japanese maid cafe. We had Takoyaki, it was delicious.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

An events area was set up for on stage performances. We decided to see Lady Baby. The performance was great, but unfortunately people stood up on the chairs so we couldn’t see much. It didn’t stop us from having a great time though.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london lady baby whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london lady baby

There were lots of other events throughout the weekend, like Mirai no Neiro the Vocaloid, WING WORKS and Kuli-Kala, and more.

This was just a slice of what could be seen at the Hyper Japan Christmas Market. There was so much more that we could have told you about this year’s market, but above were some of our highlights. For the price of the entrance it was well worth the money and it was a great afternoon and evening out.

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london whysojapan hyper japan christmas market 2015 london

Official site for more information on up and coming events: http://hyperjapan.co.uk





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events Leave a comment

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2015

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2015

This year’s Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert in London coincided with the Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival. The festival was held in the day time and the concert started at 8 pm.

Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival 2015

The festival opened a few hours before the concert at the Roundhouse in London, with a few stalls showcasing different food and products from Japan. As an added bonus, the original dress from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music video Fashion Monster, was on display for everyone to see.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Some of the other stalls were marukome×MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON and Kawaii & Oishii. Appearing on a ministage was a j-pop group called Musubizm, who performed for the public and later on took photos with their fans.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015 whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015
This year’s festival had free admission, which was great for those who just wanted to see the festival in the day time, but didn’t have any tickets to the actual concert in the evening.

After the festival we headed into London, to visit some of our favourite Japanese shops, and to get a bite to eat.

The venue

We joined the queue outside the Roundhouse around 19.15. The queue was very long, but moved quite fast. It was fun seeing so many different sorts of people had turned up for the concert. Of course, lots of Japanese people, cosplayers and lolitas dressed as Kyary, and more.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Before we knew it we were inside the venue, heading upstairs to find our seats. The concert was held at the Roundhouse in London this year, and had both seating and standing. We chose seating this year, which was fine. The only thing I would have liked to change about it was the supporting beams for the roof that were somewhat in the way of the view sometimes.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The show started promptly at 8pm and the crowd went mad when Kyary Pamyu Pamyu appeared on stage.

The show – Crazy Party Night

This year’s show  was seat up with a theme around a night at a night club called Crazy Party Night. Joining Kyaryu Pamyu Pamyu on stage were her dancers and her very own DJ who kept the music going all night and playing music for the dancers and entertainment between costume changes.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The stage differed quite a lot from the previous two London concerts, this time the stage was given a more grown up theme with a DJ booth, compared to last time with toys. The stage felt like it has grown with her now that she is old enough to drink and go clubbing.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015 whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015
whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Kyary played a  lot of her new songs this year, but also mixed in all her hit songs from her past albums. Something they did a little bit different this year with one of the tracks, Candy Candy, was to remix part of the song with other music, giving Kyary a chance to really get the crowd going, which we all enjoyed.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

The show ended, as all Kyary’s shows have ended in London, with Chan Chaka Chan Chan, with the exception that this time there were lots of confetti shot out over the public.

whysojapan kyary pamyu pamyu london roundhouse 2015

Trying to pick out which of the songs was my favourite from the concert is always going to be hard, but I did enjoy Candy Candy and one of my favourites – Fashion Monster.

Previous posts about Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Moshi Moshi Tokyo App
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2014
Quick magazine feat. KPP
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu World Tour 2014
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Nanda Collection
Dokidoki Wakuwaku Pamyu Pamyu Revolution Land DVD review
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu live in London 2013 – part 1 | part 2 | part 3
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Space Invader
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events, Music, Reviews Leave a comment

Perfume Concert Live In London 2014

whysojapan perfume london 2014

Perfume 3rd world tour

Perfume were back with their 2nd show in London a few of days ago. The Japanese j-pop trio played at the Apollo theatre in Hammersmith this time. Doors opened at 19:00 and we got there at around 19:15 to join the massive queue of Perfume fans waiting to get in. The line seemed to move very quickly, and before we knew it we had got our tickets scanned by the Apollo staff, and we were in.

Merchandise

First we we headed to the merchandise stand on the ground floor, but we had no chance to get close as there were so many people trying to get a hold some Perfume goods. Instead we headed upstairs where we found another merchandise stall. It was less crowed, so we managed to picked up one of the CDs for sale, for around £10. They were also selling t-shirts, photo books, DVDs and a lot more.

whysojapan perfume london 2014whysojapan_perfume_london_2014_02

Before the show

After buying the CD we wanted, we headed into the theatre to find our seats. We sat on the balcony quite close to the front, and we had a great view of the stage. We weren’t sure when the show was to start, because it wasn’t stated on the ticket, but around 20:15 a voice started talking in English and Japanese, saying that the show was soon to start. While waiting, a member of the Apollo staff was going around informing everyone that no photos or video recording was allowed. We did manage to take a few pictures anyway, but not many.

The theatre looked almost full from where we were sitting. There was a great buzz in the air for the upcoming show, the lights went down and the show began.

whysojapan perfume london 2014

whysojapan perfume london 2014whysojapan perfume london 2014

The show

Once the trio appeared on stage, the crowd went wild. The girls started off with a few songs in a row, and then took a minute to talk to the crowd and introduce themselves. The girls really know how to talk to and involve the public, even though English is not their native language. You could hear they tried their very best to speak English, which was fun for those that didn’t understand Japanese. They took it in turn to speak in English, it was very endearing.

whysojapan perfume london 2014 whysojapan perfume london 2014

whysojapan perfume london 2014After the chat with the crowd it was back to the music. They played so many great songs, it would be hard to single one out. One song thought that I wasn’t expecting to hear was One Room Disco, since I didn’t see it on the BluRay from last year’s concert, making me think that maybe the song was too old to play. I guess they mixed the playlist up to make the playlist unique and different from last year’s, which was great since I got to see and hear one of my favourite songs. The only song I would have liked to have seen that they didn’t perform was Fake It. It seems we got treated to a different encore song from the other show, I heard LA got Fake It. But that’s one way of keeping each show unique, I guess.

After a few more songs, it was back to talking to the public again. This time we got to hear about the girls’ experience here in London, and their problem with the sun visor in a car. The story was translated with the help of a guy from the audience. One thing we understood was that the story being told was not really given justice by the guy translating, since people that understood Japanese found it a lot more funny than the translated version, but I’m guessing it wasn’t easy for him to translate the story in a comedy way.

whysojapan perfume london 2014

whysojapan perfume london 2014whysojapan perfume london 2014

whysojapan perfume london 2014

This year’s show was a big improvement from last year’s. The lighting and projection production of the show was amazing. The show involved moving scenary on stage, lots of projection onto white blocks placed all over the stage, a giant screen behind the girls, light sticks and lazer lighting in different coulors. Compared to last year’s show where they just used a green laser. Even with out the girls on stage, all the visuals were a show on it’s own.

The show continued with more music and some crowd involvement in the PTA corner, where the girls got the public involved by dividing us up into different sections and and getting us to chant different things, which the crowd had lots of fun with. Another part of one of the chatting sections was when the girls were asking which is the best coffee shop in the UK. There was also a talk about pubs. I’m sure it would be a fun and different experience if Perfume were to walk into a normal British pub for a pint after the show.

whysojapan perfume london 2014

After the show

We left the theatre both agreeing that it was a brilliant show and we would love to see them in London again soon. I really hope they release this tour on BluRay, like they did with the previous tour, so I can re-live the show again.

If I thought I was a fan of Perfume before I saw the show, I’m even a bigger fan after. The girls gave an amazing show and left us wanting more. Still, a few days after the show, I can’t stop thinking about it. Seems silly to say that a concert was an experience, but that’s how it sort of feels in a fun way. At the moment it feels like we have Perfume playing 24/7 at home and I’ve now found myself loving older songs by Perfume that I did not really like before. After seeing them songs live I’ve got hook on them now.

whysojapan perfume london 2014whysojapan perfume london 2014
Have you been to see Perfume on this world tour? If so, let us know which show you went to, and what you thought!

I would also like to say a big thanks to one of the user: Timmy_Magic on the Perume fan page (http://www.perfume-city.com) for kindly supplying us with a lot of the photos in this review.

We also now have a review of the New York concert online click here for it http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-concert-live-new-york-2014/

Check out our previous post on Perfume here: http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-girl-group-japan/

Check also out our other reviews from LA and New York.
LA review: http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-concert-live-la-2014/
New York review: http://www.whysojapan.com/perfume-concert-live-new-york-2014/
Official world tour 3rd site: http://www.perfume-web.jp/cam/WORLD/

 





Posted on by Paul in Events, Music 4 Comments

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London 2014

whysojapan_ whysojapan_kyary_pamyu_pamyu_live_london_concert

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Live in London 2014

We made our way to the O2 Empire Shepherds Bush a couple of hours before the show. We knew it would take a long time to get there because of a major tube strike in most parts of London. We managed to jump on a very cramped bus that would take us over to Shepherds Bush. We seemed to be stuck on that bus forever, passing a lot of stops where other KPP fans were waiting to get on a bus that wasnt full already. I hope they got there in the end.

Making our way there

We arrived in time and not thinking about the queues that might be outside the venue we got a bite to eat. Fed and happy we found our way over to the venue. We had to walk to the end of a very long line to get in, all the way round to the back of the venue, queuing along a residence street. There were two queues going separate ways, one for for the stalls and one for standing. In the queues we saw several girls dressed up to mimic Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s many outfits from her music videos. There were also lots of girls dressed in Lolita clothes and people dressed in other alternative styles. It was a real mixture of people, teens, adults and families with young children. One thing that we all had in common was the love for KPP and her music.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

It wasn’t that bad to wait, not compared to last year’s show, where we were had to stand outside in cold rain and snow. At least this time the weather was nice and it was quite warm outside. Everyone was in high spirits as the queues started to move to the doors around 19ish. In no time at all our tickets had been checked and we were in.

Inside the venue

Inside they sold t-shirts, hoodies and scarfs. But we didn’t stop for that, as we were on our way up to the first level to find some seats, because it the tickets were unspecified. We were luckily enough to grab two seats next to one another on the back row with a great view. Most of all the other seats where occupied before we got there and the people that came in after us either had to split up or got standing places, which in a way was good to because there you could dance if you felt like it. Then we waited, with the other 2200 in the sold out venue, for the show to start.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

The show

The stage was much more advanced than the previous concert Kyary performed in London. Last time she said she wanted to come back again with a more lavish show, and she kept her promise. The stage was designed as a children’s playroom with storybooks, bulding blocks, popcorn and a big teddy bear. The style suited her perfectly. She also had a large screen on stage, where a video was played during one of the breaks and outfit changes. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

Kyary treated us to a show packed with hits like Hitachi, Candy Candy and Tsukematsukeru. The crowd cheered, sang and danced throughout the show, and when she sang the hits Fashion Monster and PonPonPon so it was clear that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has a very strong fan base in UK.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapanKyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

Last time Kyary performed in London she only spoke Japanese during the show, and an interpreter translated what she said. But this time she had no interpreter with her. Instead, she spoke a little English, using notes written down on a piece of paper which she read aloud from. She also spoke some Japanese this time too, and judging by the reations of the audience it seemed like most understood what she was saying.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

During the show, she wore four different outfits: first she was wearing some kind of furry creation, then she switched to a cute pink dress and bow in her hair. Another change of clothes and now she had a different color of her dress, and an even bigger bow in her hair. The final change of outfit was when she was cheered back on stage again, and now she wore a teeshirt, a skirt and bunny ears. In addition to doing a few more songs, she took the opportunity to have her picture taken with her dancers, and with the audience in the background.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

The last song of the evening was Chan Chaka Chan Chan, a perfect song to end the show, with the lyrics going “see you, see you, see you again. See you, see you, see you next time.”

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan Kyary Pamyu Pamyu - Live in London 2014 whysojapan

Finally, enjoy some footage from the show:

Also check out Previous post about Kyary Pamyu Pamyu here http://www.whysojapan.com/tag/kyary-pamyu-pamyu/
The official tour site: http://kppweb.tumblr.com
Offcial site http://kyary.asobisystem.com





Posted on by Vega @ whysojapan.com in Events, Music Leave a comment